Recently we posted a wide variety of topical articles for divorcing couples, including a glossary of divorce terms, tax implications of divorce, and changes to New Jersey spousal support coming with the New Year.
Divorce is a complicated time, but careful preparation and planning can make a big difference in both the financial outcome and how well you weather the emotional storm.
A recent article on holiday divorce published in the Chicago Tribune led this way: “Worrying about finances, the kids, and becoming a single parent amidst the intense emotional pain of the breakup can feel daunting, hopeless, and exhausting.”
Well, when you put it that way, it doesn’t sound that great to us either!
Despite its gloomy introduction, the Tribune article actually offers sound advice, which can be best summed up: Be flexible and stay centered.
- Be flexible with temporary parenting plans, adding stress over holiday visitation won’t help you or the children.
- Acknowledge old traditions but start new ones.
- Embrace your alone time and work on planning and self-improvement.
- Understand the worst might already be behind you.
Planning for New Jersey Divorce
Understanding the worst might already be behind you is great advice. Nobody arrives at a decision to end their marriage without serious guilt and careful consideration. But once you have made the decision, careful planning and action will serve you best. Taking proactive steps should include making a comprehensive checklist, gathering documentation, and careful budgeting.
Picking up the phone to call a divorce lawyer in East Brunswick is a big step, but we often find it brings emotional relief. Even for couples who plan to split without acrimony, legal help will bring knowledge and experience to the process, which will help keep you centered and focused on the issues.
Whether you are planning a divorce in the New Year or have split and are spending your first holiday season without a former spouse, having a solid plan and grasp of the information and facts will bring empowerment and relieve anxiety.
- Tax returns (3-5 years)
- Bank statements and account numbers
- Pay stubs
- Loan information (house, cars, etc.)
- Credit card account numbers and balances
- Retirement account information
- Insurance information (life, health, auto)
- Wills and trust agreements
Accounting of Assets
- Home value, loan balance
- Automobile values, loan balances
- Personal property (jewelry, collectibles)
- Birth certificate
- Marriage license
- Social Security numbers (including spouse and children)
- Dates of birth (you, spouse, children)
- Previous marriage/divorce decrees
- Prenuptial/postnuptial agreements
- Previous court documents (criminal, civil)
- Insurance policies
- Fault divorce: While New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state, that doesn’t mean that documentation of criminal, abusive, neglectful or addictive behavior on the part of a spouse will not be relevant. Now is the time to gather as much factual information and evidence as possible.
- Paperwork changes: After a split has become official, joint bank accounts and credit card accounts should be closed. Beneficiaries, powers of attorney, school contacts and other information should be updated.
- Budget: Unfortunately, financial issues are a leading cause of divorce. In the short-term, creation of a second household and legal expenses will add additional financial obligations. By creating a working budget at the outset, you can avoid some of the most common financial pitfalls, such as emotional spending. Middlesex County divorce lawyers understand the financial issues divorcing couples face and will usually agree to a good-faith arrangement when it comes to legal fees and court costs.
While there can be a surprising amount of information and documentation needed in a divorce, those who take the time to plan, organize and educate themselves will typically earn a much smoother start to their future.
Call Rozin|Golinder Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation. Invest in your future by having the right legal team by your side.